Sir Edmund Hillary, VSA’s founding President, believed passionately that if people work together in equal partnership they can achieve great things. 

VSA is New Zealand’s largest and most experienced volunteer agency working in international development. We bring together New Zealanders and our Asia-Pacific neighbours to share their skills and experience, working to transform lives and create a fair future for all. 

Our Kiwi volunteers share skills with people in the Pacific and beyond to help them build a better future for themselves and their children. The work we do is diverse and driven by the development needs of our partners in the countries where we work. These partner organisations include regional and central government agencies, local and national NGOs, education and health bodies and individual schools, colleges and health clinics.

VSA knows that we make the most difference through people, partnerships and the lasting relationships these create. 

Since 1962 we have recruited more than 3,500 New Zealanders. Our volunteers come from a wide range of backgrounds, from business mentors and lawyers to doctors and eco-tourism operators. VSA believes all people and communities deserve to be treated equally with respect and dignity.

We work with our partners overseas to make sure that all our assignments are locally identified, locally relevant, and locally delivered. Our goal is to transfer skills and knowledge so that the changes achieved during an assignment remain sustainable after a volunteer returns to New Zealand.

VSA offers New Zealanders the opportunity to expand their horizons through volunteering – living and working with partners in the Pacific and beyond for the experience of a lifetime – transforming their lives as well as those they work with. VSA enriches New Zealand society through the cross-cultural exchanges it creates and the new knowledge that returns with its volunteers. We offer both long (12 months and over) and short-term assignments and currently work in Melanesia, Polynesia and Timor-Leste.

We also work with New Zealand and regional partners to provide innovative volunteering opportunities, making it possible for more New Zealanders to volunteer and contribute to lasting change. VSA is a registered charity and is non-religious, non-political and non-governmental. VSA needs ongoing financial support to continue to send Kiwi volunteers to share their skills with communities in our region. VSA is supported by the New Zealand Aid Programme, together with private and corporate donations. 

We believe we can make a positive difference in the world when volunteers, partner organisations and communities work together, sharing skills and knowledge. This approach leads to improved quality of life, and helps build self-determining communities and stable nations.

Although we have temporarily put our deployment of volunteers on hold due to COVID-19 restrictions and uncertainties both within New Zealand and across the wider Pacific, we’re continuing to recruit and build our talent pool of prospective volunteers so we can return to supporting our partner organisations and communities in the Pacific and beyond as soon as we can.